How to Talk to Your Parents About College
Advice from a college admissions representative about sharing your plans with parents or guardians.
The months leading up to your first year of college can feel intimidating, not just for you as a student, but for your parents or guardians as well. They're likely going to have questions about financial aid, housing, your degree choice, and career potential says Carina Billings.
Carina is a Campus Admissions Representative at Full Sail University, and she has more than 20 years of experience. "My job is to help students facilitate their goals and dreams by finding the right fit for them," she says.
To help alleviate your parents' college concerns, her first piece of advice is simple: Actually sit down and talk to them.
"I think the key is for parents and students to actually come together. Both of them need to communicate their concerns and their desired outcomes."
Do Your Research
Carina recommends doing online research together for scholarships, completing the FAFSA, and looking into growing job markets to help determine your degree path.
"One thing the students can do is research and get answers ahead of time, so that when they do open the line of communication it's a starting point for the family," she says. Doing your research ahead of time can also show that you're serious about your goals and have already thought about how you're going to achieve them.
Reach Out for Help
Whether or not your parents or guardians have gone to college themselves, there may be a lot they don't know about the experience. So don't be afraid to ask for outside help.
Carina recommends reaching out to your teachers, guidance counselor, college admissions reps, and mentors to help find answers to your questions.
Keep the Conversation Going
As you plan for college, there will be several milestones along the way. Keep your parents or guardians involved throughout the process as you narrow down your desired schools, choose your degree program, and fill out admissions paperwork.
This keeps them in the loop while helping you demonstrate your independence and establish your capability as an adult so they can get used to the idea of your adventure ahead.
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